Architectural Engineering 2024

Joanna Rywak

Hey! My name is Joanna and I'm in the 2024 class of Architectural Engineering!

Waterloo Engineering in one word:


I choose Waterloo Engineering because:

In addition to being one of the only universities offering this new program, Waterloo Engineering is known for being Canada’s hub for engineering research and student involvement. Likewise, every program provides the opportunity to network and gain valuable work experience through a required co-op, which also strengthens soft skills that are transferable to any future workplace.

The best thing about my program is:

I really love the focus on design in my program, in addition to the traditional problem-solving of the engineering discipline. We also have close ties to members of the Faculty of Architecture while simultaneously interacting with other engineering programs on campus, so I definitely enjoy seeing that our program lives up to the expectation of being the bridge between Architecture and Civil Engineering.

About my Co-op experience:

Co-op is certainly one of the best parts of being a Waterloo Engineering student and makes it possible to seamlessly transition into the workforce during your studies. Last Winter term, I worked for a firm that specializes in Building Code consulting and fire protection. I learned an incredible amount about buildings as I analyzed architectural drawings and marked areas which had deficiencies. This co-op experience helped me to find my second co-op for the construction materials department of the NRC, which is the organization that actually creates the National Building Code. I’m currently working here to assist the Evaluation Officers with their various projects.

I wish I had known before I came:

Don’t be afraid to reach out to TAs, professors, upper year students, and counsellors. Everyone at Waterloo wants you to succeed and it’s important to talk to someone if you’re having any difficulties with the transition to university.

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:

Warrior Home Design Team (everyone in Architectural Engineering should join :)), UWBA (UW Backpacking Association) UWCLEC (UW Culture and Language Exchange Club), Orientation Week, and Engineering Ambassadors.

A fun project I’ve completed:

There’s always a fun project happening at Warrior Home! Our last one was a Net-Zero Energy home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity for an Indigenous community on the Bruce Peninsula. Find out more here:

One more thing about me:

I love to travel, learn about new cultures and try new foods :) and you can always reach out to me if you have any questions about anything!

Contact me:

University of Waterloo